Ireland’s Central Bank chief is no fan of cryptocurrency.
During a parliamentary session in Dublin on Wednesday, Gabriel Makhlouf told Irish lawmakers that the Central Bank was “very concerned” about the risks retail customers face when investing in “unbacked” cryptocurrencies, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Makhlouf added that cryptocurrency has “no social value whatsoever,” but he ultimately took a more laissez-faire attitude toward allowing retail investors to purchase crypto.
“When you gamble, you can win, but most of the time when you gamble, you’re actually losing,” Makhlouf said, according to Bloomberg. “If people want to gamble, we should let them gamble.”
Reuters quoted Makhlouf as saying that “unbacked crypto is essentially a Ponzi scheme. People who put their money into unbacked crypto – and most of the significant stock of crypto out there is essentially unbacked – they are essentially gambling.”
With respect to crypto, the Central Bank of Ireland is more concerned about its risks to retail investors – particularly young investors – than systemic risks to financial stability, which Makhlouf said were “minimal.”
To better protect investors, Makhlouf reportedly suggested that advertising cryptocurrencies to young adults should be banned – if lawmakers can “find a way.”
This isn't the first time Ireland’s Central Bank has warned against the dangers of crypto advertising. In March 2022, the Central Bank of Ireland issued a warning to consumers about the risk of “misleading” ads promoting crypto investments, particularly ads from social-media influencers.
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